If you’re running a business Instagram profile, how can your strategy be complete without a decent knowledge about your competitors’ activities?
Having your social media benchmarking process in place is no longer nice-to-have, it is a must-to-have!
Let’s see how you can track your Instagram competitors’ performance easily and smoothly.
Why should you be spying on your Instagram competitors?
There are at least a few reasons why you should be taking a closer look at your Instagram competitors and their results.
1. You’ll know what they’re focusing on and what their strategy is.
We’re almost sure that you are not the only player on the market. If you’re competing with other brands for users’ attention, you need to know what they are up to.
- What is their tone of voice?
- What is their focus at a time?
- What are their USPs and main differentiators?
- How often are they communicating with their audience on Instagram? Is Instagram the main, or maybe even the only, social media channel they are using?
- What kind of content are they producing? How effective and engaging is it?
2. You’ll be able to learn more about your target audience preferences.
You should be monitoring how your target audience is engaging with content published on other profiles. How are these profiles attracting users’ attention? Are their methods effective? Take a closer look at what content is the most interesting for users and think how you can implement those findings into your strategy.
3. You’ll gain valuable insights about your industry and niche.
You shouldn’t monitor just your direct local competitors. Watch out for what industry leaders are doing, too. Those observations can help you grow and expand your business. It’s usually also very insightful to watch similar companies from abroad.
4. You’ll know how your results look compared to competitors.
Knowing what your competitors are doing is important but checking their results is even more. Compare various profiles to each other to understand who is doing the best and is worth keeping an eye on.
5. You’ll be able to gather content ideas or other inspiration for your strategy.
Be open-minded and seek inspiration wherever possible, even on competitors’ profiles. It doesn’t necessarily mean copying what they are doing. The more content you consume, though, the more ideas you’ll be coming up with. You can also learn a lot from watching your competitors’ mistakes or failures, as everyone makes them.
How to analyze your Instagram competitors
As you most probably know, you cannot analyze your competitors on the Instagram level. ‘I can scroll their feeds’, you may say. Well, you can, but not only is it time-consuming but also not really insightful. You can see what they post and how many comments each of their posts have, but that won’t give you a bigger picture.
So, an alternative, or actually the only effective way of spying on your competitors is to use a third-party social media analytics app.
Here comes Sotrender with its brand new Instagram comparison feature.
What is great about using Sotrender for this purpose is that you can analyze competitive profiles in two different ways:
- every profile separately like you’d be analyzing your own profile,
- by creating a comparison group to see the results for a few profiles next to each other.
Which metrics can you track to analyze competitors’ performance?
There are quite a few metrics that you can look at in order to understand your Instagram competitors’ achievements.
The only thing you need to remember is that some metrics are available solely for your own profiles. These are, for example, reach, impressions, or demographic data.
What data can you track for competitive profiles?
1. The number of followers and follower growth
Even though the number of followers is quite a basic metric, you should know how fast competitive profiles are growing. Are they constantly building up their follower base? If yes, it’s worth checking what they do to achieve such great results. After all, the aim of your Instagram profile is to help your brand expand and reach new users, so a constant decrease in the number of followers is not really a positive thing.
As we’ve mentioned above, you can monitor the number of followers for a few profiles at once, or for a single profile.
Here is how it looks.
When checking the stats for a single profile, you can analyze the number of followers on a daily basis, as well as the follower growth rate day by day.
As the charts in Sotrender are interactive, you can click on a peak on a selected day to find out what was posted. Maybe one specific post brought many new followers to a profile?
2. User engagement
Engagement, on the other hand, is one of the most important metrics these days. Even though you may have big followership, if your followers are not active on your profile, there are not many chances that they will buy your product or follow your recommendation later on.
That’s why you should fight for their engagement first. If you’re not happy with your results, you can spy on competitors.
To make measuring Instagram engagement on any profile easy, at Sotrender we’ve created our unique metric called Activity Index. As AI is an aggregated engagement metric, counting all user activities within a profile, it’s a great measure of your engagement.
In Sotrender you’ll find out easily which profile had the highest engagement in the selected time period. You can play with the Activity Index chart, too, to find out what was posted on a particular day.
What is more, you can also take a closer look at ways in which Instagram followers of a specific profile are interacting with its content. There are two metrics available for your analysis:
- the number of comments,
- the number of likes.
As currently, every brand or Instagram creator can hide the number of likes in post settings, checking even this simple metric may not always be that easy. Not to mention analyzing the number of likes for longer periods of time.
3. Top posts and post types
Usually one of the most insightful data about competitor profiles is their top-performing content.
With Sotrender’s comparison group you can find out easily which of competitors’ posts were the most popular during a selected time period.
In our example, when comparing Clinique, Estee Lauder and Kiehl’s, it’s clear that Kiehl’s is not really in the game, and that Clinique and Estee Lauder post generally more engaging content.
Apart from the top posts, you can see a complete list of all the posts published in a selected period of time. You can easily filter and sort them to identify, e.g. only video posts with the biggest number of comments.
If you’re aiming at, for example, more user comments, such a quick analysis will help you understand what can be done to encourage your followers to comment on your posts more often.
If you’re curious whether your post strategy is right and which post types your competitors use the most often, you can easily check that, too. By taking a look at the post types chart, you’ll learn if competitive brands are experimenting with various post types, or if they just go for standard photo posts.
How to sneak a peek at competitors’ ad spend?
Checking your competitors’ ad performance is not that easily available, too.
Most probably you would like to figure out what ads your competitors are setting, and what are their results. Even though you can use Facebook Ad Library to see competitors’ ad visuals and copy, you won’t access their performance data.
The great news is that you can take a glance at such results with the use of Sotrender.
With our Benchmarking feature you are able to monitor your competitors’:
- CPM results,
- CPC results
compared to your own performance from the last month.
You’ll also be able to discover how much competitors from your niche are spending on ads and which campaign types they choose most frequently.
Note that as these data are anonymized, you won’t know what was the exact budget spent by a particular competitor.
An external social media analytics app – is it worth it?
Let’s quickly summarize why it’s beneficial to use an external app to analyze your and your competitors’ Instagram performance.
- You’ll gain access to more organic data, including historical data and unique metrics.
- You’ll be able to thoroughly analyze your competitors’ performance.
- Such an app is usually much easier to use: the UI is better thought out and the data are presented in a more organized way.
- You can analyze your Instagram ad performance, as well as average industry ad spend.
- You can quickly generate your monthly summary reports.
- It’ll be easier for you to understand your overall Instagram performance and users’ preferences towards your content.
Ready to analyze your Instagram competitors’ results?
We hope that now you know why spying on your competitors is important and how you can do that efficiently. By automating the benchmarking process you’ll get access to much more metrics in a shorter period of time.
If you still suffer from a creative block and need a bit of inspiration, take a look at our 32 Instagram content ideas that will help you create even more attractive Instagram posts and stories!